Former employee admits to stealing more than $30,000 from Erie County SPCA

West Seneca

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former employee of the SPCA Serving Erie County has admitted to stealing more than $30,000 while working for the animal shelter.

Elizabeth Tyler, 53, of Buffalo, took the money between January 2015 and June 2019. The theft was uncovered when the SPCA performed an audit.

“She was not taking it from donors at all,” said John Flynn, Erie County District Attorney. “She was not dipping into the donor fund, but the SPCA has an operation where they take in cash, individuals go in and buy a dog collar or some dog food, or whatever it may be, and so she was basically taking money that we can prove for the past five years a little bit here or a little bit there. It added up to $30,000 and the SPCA actually did a great job in catching this. They did an audit, a full fledged audit and they were able to provide us with the evidence to show that she was stealing the money and as such, she pleaded guilty to grand Larceny today in court and is now a convicted felon.”

The SPCA released a statement re-emphasizing that

Tyler was terminated from her position earlier this year. The investigation determined that the total of $30,784.13 represented payment for services, and did not include donations received by the SPCA.

SPCA statement

Flynn said Tyler paid back half of the money in court Thursday and, as part of her plea, if Tyler pays the remainder by the date of her sentencing — Nov. 4, he will not ask the judge to give her any jail time.

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